Hazelnut Merlot Biscotti


3/4 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup (1/4 lb) butter or margarine, room temp.
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp Merlot
1 tsp vanilla
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt


Place nuts in a 9-10 inch wide pan. Bale in a 325 degree oven until nuts are golden brown under the skin, 15-20 minutes. Pour nuts onto a towel and rub to remove loose skins. Let nuts cool, lift from towel, and discard brown skins. Coarsely chop nuts. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until well blended. Beat in eggs until fluffy. Beat in Merlot and vanilla. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture and nuts to butter mixture, stir, then beat until well blended. With a spoon, drop 1/2 the dough in dollops down the length of an oiled 12 x 15 inch baking sheet, keeping dough at least 1 t0 1 1/2 inches from center of pan. Repeat with remaining dough on opposite side of pan. With floured hands, pat each portion into a flat log about 3/4 inches thick. Bake in a 325 oven until logs are lightly browned on top, about 5 minutes. On the pan, cut logs crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices. Tip slices over onto a cut side (it may take a little juggling to keep them all on the pan; the cookies touch). Return cookies to oven and bake until the biscotti are browned, 20-25 more minutes. Transfer biscotti to racks until cool. Serve or store airtight up to 1 week. Makes about 4 dozen.

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